Entrepreneur Mike Rosenbaum Announces Transform Maryland Agenda

Rosenbaum’s bold plan would create opportunity for 250,000+ Marylanders, including 100,000 African American families, make record investments in removing barriers to good-paying jobs, and increase Maryland’s wraparound support for those in need

BALTIMORE, MD – Today, entrepreneur, economist, and Democratic candidate for governor Mike Rosenbaum announced his Transform Maryland agenda, which proposes to take a people-centered, bottom-up approach to create economic opportunity and grow the middle class. By coupling record investments to eliminate barriers to work, like skyrocketing child care and transportation costs, and through helping more than 250,0000 Marylanders, including 100,000 African American families, move into better-paying jobs, Transform Maryland will make it easier to work for all Marylanders and help dramatically raise wages for hundreds of thousands by $38,000 on average. The plan’s forward-looking approach smartly pairs increases in wraparound support, like child care and transportation, with direct investments in people’s futures – providing opportunities that thousands don’t currently have. 

The first planks of Rosenbaum’s Transform Maryland agenda are his “Making It Easier to Work” plan and “Maryland 2030,” which collectively represent the most historic investment in Marylanders to grow the economy and help more families be able to make ends meet. View Making It Easier to Work here, and view Maryland 2030 here.

“For the past decade, people have seen news story after news story about a soaring stock market while seeing their wages stay the same while the cost of living has gone through the roof, and the pandemic has only made those problems even worse. We can’t re-center our economy around people while child care costs have skyrocketed, while people can’t actually get to work, and while wages remain stagnant. As governor, I will focus on removing those barriers, improving our quality of life, and delivering an equitable economy that gives the opportunities we truly deserve,” said Rosenbaum.

“I believe that talent is everywhere but opportunity is not, and for too long, the deck has been stacked against Marylanders – locking people out of opportunity and the ability to live a good life. We have a status quo that looks the other way when biased systems tip the scales against underserved urban and rural communities, women, and the working class. It doesn’t have to be this way. We have the resources to level the playing field, create opportunity, and ensure that we guarantee a career and a pathway to a job that pays enough to raise a family to every Marylander who wants one,” added Rosenbaum
 

Making It Easier to Work:

Even before the pandemic, Marylanders trying to find and hold good-paying jobs faced too many obstacles— jobs that do not cover the cost of living and child care, a lack of access to skills training (or inability to afford it), inadequate public transportation to get to work, personal or familial health issues, and skyrocketing child care costs, to name just a few. If Maryland is to truly make a push to raise wages and provide hundreds of thousands of opportunities many don’t currently have, we need to focus on breaking down barriers, providing wraparound support, and making it easier to work.

Ensuring Affordable Child Care:

  • Provide full-day universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds, allowing kids to enjoy long-term success and security, and allowing parents to work
  • Increase child care capacity statewide by offering tax credits to participating employers who provide on-site child care and ensuring providers are paid promptly
  • Provide participating workers in Maryland 2030 with subsidies to make child care more affordable
  • Leverage potential Build Back Better dollars to make child care even more affordable and accessible

Ensuring Reliable Transportation:

  • Invest in a comprehensive rail system for Baltimore, including a reimagined Red Line project, instead of canceling necessary expansions
  • Connect all of Maryland by heavily investing in mass transit systems, like MARC, and commuter bus systems across the state
  • Ensure that WMATA is fully funded
  • Work with participating employers to cover transit gaps, particularly last-mile transportation
  • Take full advantage of the once-in-a-generation public transportation investments included in the federal bipartisan infrastructure bill to help improve the state’s roads, bridges, mass transit systems, broadband infrastructure, water and power systems, and electrical vehicle network

Bridging the Gap to the First Paycheck:

  • Provide a $2,000 forgivable loan to Maryland 2030 program participants to cover the costs of reliable child care, transportation, proper attire, and the various expenses participants will potentially incur in changing careers
  • Forgive the loan on completion of the Maryland 2030 skills development program

Maryland 2030:

As one of the richest states in the richest country in the world, the fact that anyone is stuck in a job that does not provide enough to raise a family and live a good life – that anyone is in poverty, period – is a systemic failure in Maryland, and it doesn’t have to be this way. We have the resources, the capacity, and the economic strength to guarantee a career and opportunity to every Marylander. But what we lack is the political will and leadership to make it happen.

Mike is running for governor because the system and status quo are stacked against too many Marylanders. Maryland 2030 is Mike’s plan to ensure that anyone in our state who is jobless, underemployed, or feels stuck in a job that does not provide enough to live a good life, will be guaranteed entry into a good-paying career so that every Marylander receives the tools and opportunity to support themselves and their family.

Impact:

  • By the end of Mike’s first term, Maryland 2030 will help over 250,000 Marylanders, including 100,000 African American families, get training and move into higher-paying careers that pay enough to raise a family and live a good life
  • Maryland 2030 will provide skills development in high-paying fields that do not require a college degree, like nursing and health care, specialized manufacturing, skilled trades, and technology
  • The program will allow Maryland to guarantee a career for every Marylander who wants one, and make Maryland an economic magnet for health care, skilled trades, specialized manufacturing, and technology jobs – industries that are projected to create 3.6 million jobs nationally in the next decade

How Maryland 2030 works:

  • In conjunction with K-12 schools, community colleges, universities, unions, and private employers, create a game-changing training program that will help lift hundreds of thousands of Marylanders into the middle class
  • Program participants will receive a $2,000 forgivable loan before the program begins to defray any costs incurred in transitioning into the program
  • Program participants will receive at least a $15 per hour wage and health insurance while they are in skills development and apprenticeship programs, so no one is forced to choose between putting food on the table and their economic future
  • Partner with community colleges, universities, K-12 schools to bolster the training and capacity pipeline for apprenticeships
  • Bolster state-run programs like EARN, which work with private employers to provide skills development for underemployed people
  • Strengthen state government-union coordination to better match upcoming projects with future hiring numbers and skills needs
  • Create a navigator program to help program and match participants with an advisor to assist as participants enter skills development and apprenticeship programs and transition to good-paying jobs upon completion

Why We Need Transform Maryland:

  • 53% of Americans would switch to a role in an entirely new industry if they had the opportunity to retrain. [Axios]
  • 400,000 more women than men have left the workforce nationally since the pandemic began. [NPR]
  • Between January 2020 and June 2021, 13,000 men entered the workforce, while 57,000 women left the workforce in Maryland. [Maryland Matters]
  • Before the pandemic, in a 2018 survey, mothers were 40% more likely than fathers to have had their careers negatively impacted by child care. [Center for American Progress]
  • Nationally, Black parents experienced child care-related work disruptions at nearly twice the rate of white parents. [Center for American Progress]
  • As of August 2021, 5.9% or around 185,000 remain unemployed. [Maryland Department of Labor]
  • In 2021, the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment is $1,487 per month, which requires an average salary of $59,480 or $28.60 per hour to afford. [National Low Income Housing Coalition]
  • In the Baltimore region alone, 60% of job seekers reported the cost of education and training was too high. More than 40% of job seekers reported difficulties accessing training opportunities. 40% cited the inability to afford things like work clothes or a bus ticket as a barrier to work, and one in four job seekers reported issues getting to work as a barrier. [Baltimore Metropolitan Council]
  • Maryland women earn $0.86 on the dollar compared to men; Black women earn $0.68, and Latina women earn just $0.46. [NWLC]
  • The unemployment rates for people of color are consistently higher than for white people in Maryland; for 2020, for example, the rate for white men and women was 5.6%, compared to 8.1% for Black men and women. [BLS]

About Mike Rosenbaum:

Over 20 years ago in Baltimore, Rosenbaum founded Catalyte to help people from all walks of life who felt stuck or could not earn enough to support a family – providing people with opportunity and training for jobs with some of the most successful companies in the world. Under Rosenbaum’s leadership, Catalyte challenged the status quo that unfairly put underserved rural and urban communities, women, and the working class at a disadvantage – systemically locking people out of opportunity. Mike’s company helped raise the average salary of Catalyte employees from $25,000 before entering their program to $98,000 five years later. While conventional wisdom has caught up with Rosenbaum on pairing skills development and wraparound services to unlock opportunity, Transform Maryland seeks to break new ground and help hundreds of thousands of people access opportunities they do not currently have.